Sex differences in stimulus expectancy and pharmacologic effects of a moderate dose of alcohol on smoking lapse risk in a laboratory analogue study
- 232 Downloads
Alcohol use is often implicated in initial lapses to smoking during quit smoking attempts. Mechanisms explaining this association are unknown but could include (a) learned associations between drinking and smoking or (b) direct pharmacologic effects of alcohol.
In a 2 (told alcohol vs. told placebo) × 2 (0.4 g/kg vs. 0.0 g/kg ethanol) between-subjects balanced placebo design, we examined instruction and beverage condition effects on smokers’ ability to resist initiating smoking and whether these effects differed by sex.
Participants were 96 heavy alcohol drinkers, smoking 10–30 cigarettes per day. After 15 h of smoking abstinence, participants consumed either an alcoholic or a nonalcoholic beverage and 35 min later completed a smoking lapse task.
Overall, neither instructions nor beverage contents influenced behavior on the smoking lapse task. However, the instruction condition had different effects in men and women. Women, but not men, were more likely to smoke and reported expecting greater satisfaction from smoking when they were told alcohol compared to told placebo. The effects of instruction condition on smoking behavior were not mediated by self-reported expected satisfaction from smoking.
Women may be more likely to choose to smoke after drinking moderate amounts of alcohol because of their expectations rather than the pharmacological effects of the alcohol.
KeywordsAlcohol Smoking relapse Nicotine Balanced placebo design Craving Alcohol administration Pharmacologic effects Expectancy effects
Conflicts of interest and source of funding
This study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, grant R01AA016978 to Dr. Kahler, and by a Senior Research Career Scientist award from the Department of Veterans Affairs to Dr. Rohsenow. The authors have no financial relationship with the study sponsor and no conflicts of interest to disclose.
- Augustson EM, Wanke KL, Rogers S, Bergen AW, Chatterjee N, Synder K, Albanes D, Taylor PR, Caporaso NE (2008) Predictors of sustained smoking cessation: a prospective analysis of chronic smokers from the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study. Am J Public Health 98:549–555PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- First MB, Spitzer RL, Gibbon M, Williams JBW (1995) Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders. New York State Psychiatric Institute, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Marlatt GA, Rohsenow DJ (1980) Cognitive processes in alcohol use: expectancy and the balanced placebo design. In: Mello NK (ed) Advances in substance abuse: behavioral and biological research. JAI Press, GreenwichGoogle Scholar
- Shiffman S, Fischer LA, Paty JA, Gnys M, Hickcox M, Kassel JD (1994) Drinking and smoking: a field study of their association. Ann Behav Med 16:203–209Google Scholar
- Sobell LC, Sobell MB (1996) Timeline followback: a calendar method for assessing alcohol and drug use. Addiction Research Foundation, TorontoGoogle Scholar
- Wei I (1978) Application of an urn model to the design of sequential controlled clinical trials. J Am Stat Assoc 73:559–563Google Scholar
- Westman EC, Levin ED, Rose JD (1992) Smoking while wearing the nicotine patch; is smoking satisfying or harmful. Clin Res 40:871AGoogle Scholar